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How To Deal With The Greedy Relative Sharking For An Inheritance

Posted: Monday, 2 December 2019 @ 15:41

Some of my work involves dealing with families in which there is clearly an agenda where one relative is positioning him or herself in order to obtain an inheritance.

This can range from fairly subtle influencing conduct from a dodgy relative to outright bullying, intimidation and theft.

And, what kind behaviour do you see from the greedy relative?

This can involve:

  • Changing the will of the vulnerable relative so that the new person emerges with most or all of the inheritance and is able to become executor of the vulnerable person's will. Being executor will give ultimate control.   
  • Becoming the attorney on a lasting power of attorney - This has the added benefit of enabling the greedy relative to get his or her paws on the money and to start making early financial distributions.
  • Speaking foul of other relatives/close friends to undermine other parties (particularly those who complain) 
  • Taking control of bank accounts/setting up joint ones and then making some or lots of payments which are not legitimate.(e.g buying cars/holidays)   

As someone seeking to influence things in a positive way, what can you do?

Should you stand aside given that the elderly relative may be subject to more stress?  

Well the question, is do you want to accept what is going on or not?  

It is worth bearing in mind that if you do intervene you are setting yourself up for a confrontation and it is not necessarily going to be pretty.

Furthermore getting (successful) intervention from the third parties such as the police is an uphill struggle even with compelling evidence.

However, some practical options and thoughts for dealing with issues on a positive basis include: 

1 Get the will changed (maybe back to what it was) of the vulnerable relative.  

2 Consider getting a LPA(Lasting Power of Attorney) done and/or seeking to get the other LPA revoked if the dodgy relative managed to achieve this. This enables control during the vulnerable relative's lifetime and stops immediate spending. 

3 Be careful in how you attack the dodgy relative. It is critical that you do not get drawn into bad behaviour.(as this may be used against you) You need to be assertive but keep your nose clean.

4 Be disciplined in how you make complaints to Third Parties eg Police, Social Services Court of Protection. The odds are against they will help but an effective contact can work.

5 Conduct an effective paper trail - if matters do get legal an effective paper trail can help if legal intervention becomes necessary later.

6. Take effective legal action to recover monies lost/end the control of the dodgy relative.

Overall because of the fact that it is such high stakes where what you are dealing with someone who wants to get his or her hands on money it is best to get legal advice to deal with this as it is vetry easy to fluctuate between being over-aggressive or too weak with the potential offender.